02 December 2009


Well boys and girls, sorry I have not been around. This will change in about a month. Things are improving since I left CCA, and started working for county. Real job, and real money.

Funny thing about CCA: They are sure taking their time with MY retirement account money. One phone call yesterday got me a song and dance, plus a promise to put the check in the mail this week. We will see.

That is it for now. God Bless!

26 September 2009


Sorry I have disappeared for awhile. I am in the process of a job change. Now the good news:


I start a real job with the county Monday.

That's all for now. God Bless!!

05 July 2009

Pastor Welcomes Gun Owners to Bring Their Handguns to Church

Fox News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville pastor is welcoming gun owners into his church's sanctuary Saturday for what he says is a show of support for the right to bear arms.

Ken Pagano is asking visitors to bring their unloaded handguns in a holster at a late afternoon event at New Bethel Church in southwest Louisville.

Pagano says he got the idea after some members at the Pentecostal church expressed concern over the Obama administration's views on gun control. He says the gathering is meant to promote safe gun ownership.

The "Open Carry Celebration" will include a handgun raffle.

It has prompted a coalition of peace and church groups to stage a peaceful, gun-free event across town at the same time on Saturday

22 June 2009

We Were at War- The Legal Consequences of 9/11

by William J. Haynes II

Editor's Note: Even as Uighur detainees, once trained in al Qaeda camps, frolic in the Bermuda surf, enjoying their release from the U.S. detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, newly captured detainees in Afghanistan are being read their Miranda rights, as if they were common criminals. The legal framework under which the U.S. government prosecutes the war on terror remains as unstable and controversial as ever. The speech below, delivered in March 2008 by William J. Haynes II, who was just then stepping down from his position as general counsel at the Pentagon, thus remains highly topical. Rare in this debate, it is also eloquent and highly accessible to the non-specialist. We thus reprint it in full and commend it to our readers' attention.

In September 2005, I was sitting in a window seat on a commercial flight from Madrid to Philadelphia. It was mid-afternoon on a Tuesday. The plane was above the clouds in the sunshine, halfway across the Atlantic.

I was returning from a long trip in Europe. It was typically frenetic--six countries in five days, visit after visit with politicians and businessmen, diplomats and soldiers. I was tired, but marveling at what a great job I had. It's like being the chief legal officer of a medium size country. Any conceivable legal issue conjured up by the Department's more than ten thousand military and civilian lawyers could end up in my lap. I remember my head buzzing with those possibilities as I began to doze.

And then it hit me with
a jolt. I knew this flight. It was the same flight that we had tracked four years earlier on September 11, 2001.

You know the story: Nineteen hijackers on four planes murdered almost three thousand innocent people in an atrocity unlike any in American history. What you may not remember as well is that on that day the Department of Defense tracked two suspicious international flights--one over the Pacific, and this one over the Atlantic--suspecting they, too, were hijacked and heading towards an American skyline. And we steeled and readied ourselves to shoot them down.

All of us remember where we were that day. I was in my office on the phone with my wife, telling her to turn on the TV, when I saw the plane hit the second tower. I raced down to one of the Pentagon command centers with some others, to set up a crisis action cell. As the American Airlines plane hit the other side of our building, I felt only a shudder pulse the monstrous concrete structure. And then it was like I was in a movie playing fast forward. Smoke and confusion, multiple conversations between the President and the Secretary, sending my own deputy off with the Deputy Secretary to a survival site in the event that another plane came at our side of the Pentagon, hearing situation reports about dead and wounded being treated in the Pentagon courtyard.

I spent nineteen hours in the Pentagon that day, mostly at the elbow of then-Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld and then-Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dick Myers. Most of the time I was in two Pentagon command centers, reacting and contemplating possibilities I had never expected to face. These scenarios had nothing to do with corporate transactions, environmental cleanups, government contracts, class action litigation, or any of the other issues that had been on my mind when I first took the job, barely four months earlier.

That day, we considered whether to shoot civilian airliners from the sky, and we wondered what would come next. Were there more terrorists on the ground in America's cities? Did they have suitcase nukes? After New York and D.C., were Chicago, Atlanta, or Los Angeles next?

The legal questions were legion. What were the rules of engagement? How do the Fourth and Fifth Amendments apply to a decision to shoot down an American airliner en route to a U.S. city? Should any captured enemies be treated as criminal suspects or enemy combatants?

Smoke lingered in the Pentagon for days. We could not totally extinguish fires because the water itself threatened to shut down the electrical and information systems of the building. But as the smoke dissipated, some things soon became clearer. We were attacked by a non-state organization known as al Qaeda. The President decided that we would fight this enemy with all our national power, including the armed forces. We were at war.

At the time, this was widely accepted. In those weeks following 9/11, both the United Nations and NATO concluded we had suffered an "armed attack," thereby invoking the U.N. Charter and the NATO charter provisions for collective military action. The Congress on September 18, 2001, passed a breathtakingly broad Authorization for the Use of Military Force. The decision to go to war also followed recent precedent; President Clinton had ordered cruise missile strikes against al Qaeda in response to the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Going to
war had many legal consequences.

It meant we could attack al Qaeda with deadly force. It meant we could detain captured fighters for the duration of hostilities. It meant we could ask questions without reading Miranda warnings. It meant we could seek to intercept their communications to learn their intentions and foil their future plots. It meant we could use military commissions to try them for war crimes.

I was tempted to give a detailed defense for these matters here today. Bob Fiske told me that you all have heard many speakers criticize the government's legal policies and that you'd give me a fair hearing for rebuttal.

But I decided against that. On Monday, I'm leaving this job, after almost seven years. Rather than justify the answers the President and Congress have come up with, I want to look to the future. As the national and global dialogue continues, as you all participate, and as our democracy considers new legal policies, I ask you to consider three questions important to all Americans and maybe particularly important to those of us in the legal profession.

First, how does the law affect the government's ability to fight and win wars?

The obvious approach to this question is to think about the rules we place on the government.

In the aftermath of 9/11, we've seen reforms in this mold. Removing the "wall" between law enforcement and intelligence. Creating the Department of Homeland Security. Creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. These legal reforms have been aimed at restructuring the government to be more effective.

I encourage you, however, to consider the law's impact on national security, from other perspectives, beyond just the rules we place on government.

Think about how the law sets incentives and disincentives for others besides the government.

What incentives does the law set for our enemies?

In a way, the threat of al Qaeda makes some applications of the law of war to this conflict unprecedented. On the other hand, the bedrock documents underlying the law of war had this conflict squarely in mind. The Geneva Conventions were consciously written with the purpose of encouraging combatants to follow certain basic rules, to place bounds on an inherently violent and barbaric enterprise--war.

The heart of this effort is to separate fighters from civilians. If the two are separated, civilian populations will be spared killing and destruction. So the law of war requires combatants to distinguish themselves from civilians--usually by wearing a uniform and carrying their weapons openly. In turn, fighters must also refrain from targeting civilians and may not use civilians as human shields.

The law of war attempts to encourage everyone to follow these rules through incentives. People who follow the rules receive a privileged status. Lawful fighters get combat immunity. Although they may kill and be killed on the battlefield, once removed from the fight, they may not be prosecuted for lawfully fighting. Lawful fighters, if captured, also get a special status called prisoner of war. This status comes with many privileges--access to athletic uniforms, musical instruments, access to a canteen where one can purchase tobacco and sundries, the right to whatever military justice system the enemy uses to try its own troops.

Al Qaeda's reason for being, its method of operation, strikes at the core of the law of war. Al Qaeda does not want to be distinguished from the civilians that surround them. The September 11 hijackers did not wear uniforms or carry weapons openly. They posed as businessmen and students. They did not distinguish between combatants and civilians. They attacked civilian aircraft and used those aircraft to attack civilian targets.

Should we afford prisoner of war status to al Qaeda fighters, notwithstanding their conduct? Amplifying that, should they get more than what POWs get? Here, you have to think about the incentives going forward. If you give more protections and privileges to al Qaeda fighters than to lawful fighters, then you will strip away any legal incentives for people to fight according to the rules. Countries and groups will have strategic incentives to enjoy the benefits for clandestine warfare without bearing any of the consequences of doing so. Ultimately, you increase the savagery of future conflicts.

This new series of rights affects the incentives of those on the front line combating terrorist organizations. In fighting, our military personnel may be buying a long series of civilian judicial proceedings, trials, accusations, and the prospect that our opponents will be released before the war is over. These were never prospects that military personnel faced in prior conflicts against conventional enemies. One must ask, what effect will this new web of legal requirements have on battlefield decisionmaking?

And consider this: We have hundreds of habeas cases from persons the United States holds at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and I'm concerned about the impact these cases might have on the incentives provided by the law of war.

During World War II, the United States detained more than 400,000 German and Italian prisoners of war in camps sprinkled around the United States, and had zero successful habeas petitions.

Today, we have less than 300 unlawful enemy combatants detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and 246 ongoing habeas cases in the federal courts to go with them. These cases are in addition to the administrative processes the Executive Branch has developed on its own to review the detention of enemy combatants. And those administrative processes have been endorsed by Congress.

The legal process afforded these detainees far exceeds anything that German or Italian soldiers enjoyed at any time during their captivity within our borders.

Think beyond our naval base in Cuba.

Coalition forces hold tens of thousands of detainees in Iraq and over a thousand Afghanistan. If the detainees in Cuba receive habeas, should those detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan receive it as well? Instead of hundreds, why not tens of thousands of military detainee habeas cases in federal courts?

This is an incentive to violate the law of war. As some have said, what's in it for any foe of the United States to abide by those rules if one gets better treatment upon capture by violating them?

Another example of an area where it's important to consider the incentives the law creates for national security is FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The FISA statute, written in 1978, must be updated to account for remarkable advances in communications technology since then. That is one challenge before Congress now.

But another issue in FISA reform is whether private companies can be sued for cooperating with a Government request for information--for information on suspected al Qaeda operatives. When it comes to private corporations, even the prospect of liability--the very existence of litigation--is enough to cause them to turn the Government down. Allowing private lawsuits to go forward is a consequence of the political branches not making tough policy decisions. They deprive our political process of a real chance to consider what surveillance against our enemies should be permitted. Faced with the prospect of lawsuits, private entities will say "no" in the first instance, and there will be no decision for Congress and the President to make.

The prospect of litigation against individuals--our troops and government officials--also affects the decisions we make. When it comes to foreign lawsuits, the prospect of an adverse reaction--not by our Executive Branch, by our Congress, or by our courts, but by a foreign tribunal or prosecutor, is affecting the decisions military personnel and civilian leaders make.

We've had cases against individual servicemembers in foreign courts.

For example, in April 2003, in Baghdad, a U.S. tank under enemy fire returned fire and killed a Spanish cameraman. More than four years later thousands of miles away, a Spanish judge indicted three U.S. soldiers for violating a Spanish law.

Another case. In March 2005, soldiers at a U.S. checkpoint in Iraq killed an Italian intelligence agent after his speeding vehicle ignored multiple warnings and failed to stop. Almost two years later, an Italian judge indicted a U.S. soldier on homicide charges.

In Great Britain, U.S. Air Force pilots involved in tragic "friendly fire" incidents in Iraq--pilots whose conduct was investigated and cleared by U.S. and UK military investigators--are the subject of multiple county coroner inquests that have accused our pilots of negligent homicide.

Each of these cases proceeds notwithstanding that the U.S. government thoroughly investigated and determined that no administrative or judicial action was warranted.

But litigation isn't just a problem for troops at checkpoints, policy-makers have also been targets.

Lawsuits have been filed against senior military and civilian officials alleging human rights violations. One advocacy group has repeatedly filed complaints with German, Belgian, and French prosecutors requesting that senior civilian and military officials be prosecuted for conduct associated with the defense of our country.

The relationship between law and national security is complicated. It isn't just the rules we place on the government. It's the incentives we set for our enemies and for our own citizens. It's the rules others might try to place on us.

The second question, I'd pose is, 'Can we preserve the American legal system?'

We have a remarkable criminal justice system.

It's an adversarial system. It seeks to restrain government power and to preserve space for individual freedoms, and it's the most solicitous of individual rights of any in the world.

Our criminal law system is remarkable because of how much it is not focused on putting criminals behind bars.

It's a system where it's more important that innocents be found innocent than that the guilty be punished. Therefore, the standard of proof is very high--beyond a reasonable doubt. As Blackstone formulated--"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

It's a system where it's more important to keep the government playing by the rules, than to punish the guilty. We have the exclusionary rule, where, as Judge Cardozo put it, "The criminal is to go free because the constable has blundered."

How would we adapt this gold standard of criminal law to deal with al Qaeda?

Is it better that ten al Qaeda operatives escape, than that one innocent be wrongly detained? Should al Qaeda members go free if the government blunders?

Many might answer, 'Yes!' But remember what only nineteen people were able to do nearly seven years ago. Some believe such doctrinaire logic applied without reflection is unwise. It could, as Justice Robert Jackson once warned, "convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact." Indeed, nearly all who seriously consider the question view criminal prosecution in the federal courts, under rules currently in place as a viable option for only a handful of al Qaeda members.

Adapting our domestic criminal justice system to 9/11-type terrorists could entail a compromise between our long tradition of individual rights and the new public need to thwart mass murder and destruction.

Academics and pundits have proposed such compromises--special terrorism courts. These courts might detain individuals for long periods of time, in spite of reasonable doubts. They might overlook blunders by constables, if those blunders found credible evidence. They might consider secret evidence, ex parte.

Do we want to inject those practices into our domestic legal system?

Consider Justice Jackson's dissent in the World War II case of Korematsu v. United States. There, he argued that the courts should abstain from judging the military's claim that it was necessary to exclude Fred Korematsu from the West Coast on the basis of his race. Justice Jackson thought that judges should not review claims of military necessity, because doing so would import unwanted doctrines into our jurisprudence. Once a practice like racial discrimination is imported and validated by a judge, then it:

lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of urgent need. Every repetition embeds that principle more deeply in our law and thinking and expands it to new purposes.

Justice Jackson went on to contrast the ephemeral nature of military orders with the enduring work of the court.

A military commander may overstep the bounds of constitutionality, and it is an incident. But if we review and approve, that passing incident becomes the doctrine of the Constitution. There it has a generative power of its own, and all that it creates will be in its own image.

Adapting our civilian legal system to cover al Qaeda has its perils. If we choose this path, we must take care that we do not endanger our long-held principles and values.

Once we add special, relaxed procedures in the criminal justice system for al Qaeda, can we keep those procedures confined to the hardest cases? How will we prevent those who follow from using them as convenient ways to bypass the rigors of the criminal justice system?

We must be mindful of these matters as we begin to change the law.

My third question is, 'Can we preserve our adherence to the rule of law?'

Today, the threat of terrorism seems distant to many Americans. Polls show that people are more concerned with the economy and health care than terrorism. And, for many of the military and civilian personnel in government, this is our proudest achievement. By preventing attacks, the government has returned to the people a sense of safety.

But, as we continue to refine the laws, we should not just assume today's sense of security and safety. We should also ask ourselves how people will think, feel, and act when the next attack comes?

And it will come!

We can be sure that when the next attack comes, the American people will rally to the government and demand that it take action to protect the nation.

Writing the laws today, how do we write them so the government has enough flexibility to deal with tomorrow's crises? But what if we err? What if a future President is put in the position where he must choose between following the law and doing what he or she believes is necessary to protect the nation?

This is an awful choice.

The founding fathers recognized this when drafting our constitution. I quote from Madison in Federalist 41.

It is in vain to oppose Constitutional barriers to the impulse of self-preservation. It is worse than in vain; because it plants in the Constitution itself necessary usurpations of power, every precedent of which is a germ of unnecessary and multiplied repetitions.

We must be careful that the country can act lawfully in self-defense.

I've shared with you some of my perspective on law and national security. In a word, my perspective is conservative. I mean that literally. There is so much in our country worth conserving, worth preserving, worth protecting. The lives of our citizens, the liberties we enjoy, our legal traditions, our belief in government under law.

As enemies threaten us, as the world changes, how do we best preserve all of that?

My first job out of law school was as a clerk to Judge James B. McMillan, in the Western District of North Carolina. I learned a lot from the judge, including: "never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity"; and "your job as my clerk is to keep me from making unintended errors"; and, "the government has no rights, only responsibilities." While I didn't always agree with the judge, I have always carried his lesson that the awesome powers of the government exist only to fulfill its responsibilities to the people.

Throughout my time as General Counsel of the Department, I've seen the Department's actions not so much as an exercise of lawful executive power or government rights, but as an appropriate discharge of a difficult executive responsibility. The Constitution confers upon the President the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that the American people are safe and secure, especially in wartime, and the Constitution gives the President the power to fulfill that responsibility. Exercising this power is discharging the most basic of all presidential duties.

Of course, the other branches have Constitutional duties as well. And we've seen the dialogue between the Congress, the Courts, and the President on these national security issues. This dialogue is how our constitution is supposed to work.

Without presuming to speak for anyone other than myself, allow me to speculate a bit in closing.

I think history will be kinder to the decisions this administration has made than current accounts might indicate. This country has not--and I knock on wood as I say this--suffered another devastating domestic attack from al Qaeda since 9/11. And most of the stories told thus far have been by outside critics, people who do not know the whole story.

I'm reminded of the late '40s and early '50s. It took those years and new leadership from another party before the country as a whole adopted the containment strategy that ultimately--40 years later--toppled the Soviet Union.

I believe our challenge as citizens now is to find ways to deal with this deadly and likely enduring threat that we can agree to sustain over time and across party lines. Ways that protect the ability of our country to win wars, to protect our systems, and to abide by the law.

How do we manage to live in a long period under threat, when we're fighting people somewhere in between criminals and combatants? When we're in a state somewhere in between war and peace, what will be the balance between security and liberty?

Justice Jackson, speaking in 1951 at the beginning of the Cold War, offered his thoughts on "wartime security and liberty under law." After discussing our Constitutional history, including the arguments between President Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney, Justice Jackson concluded with the following:

The problem of liberty and authority ahead are slight in comparison with those of the 1770s or 1860s. We shall blunder and dispute, and decide and overrule decisions. And the common sense of the American people will preserve us from all extremes which would destroy our heritage.

At first, this seems almost clichéd. "Common sense"? Surely the great expositor of the Steel Seizure case had something more satisfying? But I think what Justice Jackson meant was this. The logic of liberty and the logic of security, if blindly followed, each leads to impractical regimes. Carried to its extreme, the logic of liberty is a suicide pact. Patrick Henry's famous cry. Carried to its extreme, the logic of security is a government which can bend every law with a claim of urgent necessity. A government by fiat, not law.

Between these two extremes, we must chart a middle course. Since ideology and dogmatic logic lead us to crash at either end, then I suppose we must rely on common sense to point the way. As I leave government, as you all take up these challenges, may it guide you as well.

The Honorable William J. Haynes II served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense from May 2001 until February 2008. This speech was delivered as the Lewis Powell Lecture to the American College of Trial Lawyers in Tucson, Arizona, on March 8, 2008.

18 June 2009

Boxer, the U.S. Senator, Chides Brigadier General for Calling Her 'Ma'am'

Fox News

In case you forgot, Barbara Boxer is a senator.

The feisty California lawmaker felt the need to remind an Army brigadier general of that fact Tuesday during a hearing before her Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, where the military officer testifying had the apparent gall to call Boxer "ma'am."

Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was testifying on the Louisiana coastal restoration process in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He began to answer one of Boxer's questions with "ma'am" when Boxer immediately cut him off.

"You know, do me a favor," an irritated Boxer said. "Could say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?'"

"Yes, ma'am," Walsh interjected.

"It's just a thing, I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it, yes, thank you," she said.

"Yes, senator," he responded.

However, Walsh surely meant no disrespect, as military protocol advises that officers may use "sir" or "ma'am" when addressing anybody higher than them on the chain of command.

"We would call them 'sir' or 'ma'am' or 'senator such-and-such'," Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nathan Banks said. Banks said any of those terms would be "appropriate" when addressing a senator.

According to one guide, the Navy and Coast Guard typically use "mister" or "miss" to address officers below the rank of commander, and "sir" or "ma'am," or a specific title, to address anyone at that rank or higher.

"You can never go wrong by using 'Sir' or 'Ma'am,' but it is a nice touch if you can properly address a senior officer," says the guide, Military Protocol: Uniformed Services.

Tuesday's hearing was hardly the first time a military officer used those terms during sworn testimony.

The same day at a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing, two Navy officials repeatedly referred to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., with the title, "sir."

"Yes, sir," Navy Vice Adm. Bernard McCullough said when answering questions.

Wicker raised no objections.

Robocop's Comment:

This is why I am not a General:

"You know, do me a favor," an irritated Boxer said. "Could say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?'"

"Ok BITCH, and you can call me "Daddy" Robocop interjected.

Safeguarding the military vote


In recent elections, American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have encountered substantial roadblocks in the voting process. This has been especially true of those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. To address this national embarrassment, we have introduced a bipartisan bill, the Military Voting Protection Act.

Our military service members put their lives on the line to protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans. In return, it is our responsibility to support them in every way we can. The nature of the global war on terror and the high tempo of U.S. military operations - including our surge in Afghanistan - will require overseas service by our troops for the foreseeable future. It is imperative that American service members abroad be able to participate in our democratic process even as they fight to defend our democracy.

Yet the country they defend has repeatedly denied our troops one of our most sacred rights - the right to vote. During the 2006 election cycle, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, less than half of the military voters who requested absentee ballots successfully cast them. According to a 2006 report, just 59 percent of surveyed service members even knew where to obtain voting information on their installations, and just 40 percent had received assistance from their designated voting assistance officer. A recent survey of seven states with high military populations shows that the problems continued in 2008, as more than a quarter of the ballots requested by uniformed and overseas voters went uncollected or uncounted.

Our troops report many procedural hurdles when trying to participate in federal, state and local elections. Most states have inadequate processes and unreasonable timelines for transmitting blank absentee ballots to our troops, and the methods available to these service members for returning completed ballots to local election officials are slow and antiquated. Moreover, there are myriad absentee voting rules and regulations that are extremely confusing and vary widely with each state.

The process clearly is broken, and there is no excuse for not stepping up to challenge the status quo and streamline the process. We ask so much of our troops, and in return, we have given them a voting system that is perplexing, frustrating, slow and often dysfunctional. They deserve better.

The bill we introduced can help address one of largest of these procedural hurdles. The Military Voting Protection Act would give our troops a louder and clearer voice at the polls by ensuring that their completed absentee ballots are delivered back home in time to be counted and do not get lost on the way. Our bill would reduce delays in the absentee voting process by requiring the Defense Department to take a more active role in the process. The bill would require the department to be responsible for collecting completed ballots from overseas troops and then express-shipping them back to the United States in time to be counted, enabling troops to track their ballots while the ballots are in transit and confirm their delivery at local election offices.

We should pass this bipartisan bill quickly so elections officials have time to prepare for the 2010 election cycle. Meaningful reform will not come overnight, but now is the time to take up the cause of military voters. There are 18 months until the next election, which is enough time to implement significant improvements. If we fail, disenfranchisement of many more military voters could result next year.

This bill can be an important step toward solving the numerous and complex problems with our current military voting system. The Americans who answer the call to serve are national treasures, and we honor their selfless sacrifice and commitment to the defense of freedom. In the eighth year of the global war on terror, they continue to voluntarily raise their right hands to defend our nation and our freedom - which often requires immeasurable personal sacrifice by them and their loved ones.

Members of our newest "greatest generation" deserve nothing less than the same constitutional rights and individual liberties that they safeguard for their fellow citizens back home.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, is a member of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on the constitution. Sen. Mark Begich, Alaska Democrat, is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

15 June 2009

Tennessee Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto of HB 962


Fairfax, Va. – In a strong reaffirmation of the self-defense rights of Tennesseans, the Tennessee House and Senate have successfully overridden Governor Phil Bredesen’s veto of House Bill 962. This NRA-supported bill will enable law-abiding right-to-carry permit holders to carry firearms for self-defense in restaurants. HB 962 passed both the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support, but Gov. Bredesen vetoed the bill on May 28, disappointing more than 200,000 right-to-carry permit holders in his state. While an override of the veto only needed a simple majority vote to pass, it cleared both chambers with overwhelming, bi-partisan support. Passage of the measure will allow law-abiding Tennesseans to protect themselves and their families. This measure was overridden today in the Senate by a margin of 21-9.

“Until today, Tennessee law has prevented right-to-carry permit holders from having the chance to defend themselves from criminal attack while in a restaurant,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. "This veto override proves Tennessee legislators trust permit holders and understand this is a common sense measure that must become law in their state, just as it is already law in 35 other states. HB 962 will allow permit holders the opportunity to protect their own lives and the lives of those they love.”

HB 962 is crucial because crime does happen in restaurants. On April 2, 2009, Benjamin Felix Goeser was gunned down at Jonny's Sports Bar on Nolensville Road in Nashville. His wife, Nicole Goeser, has a right-to-carry permit, but she had to keep her gun locked in the car because of Tennessee law. Mrs. Goeser actively lobbied for the passage of this measure.

According to the Tennessee Legislature’s legal staff, this common sense law will go into effect July 14, per Tennessee state law.

“Bill sponsors State Senator Doug Jackson (D-25) and State Representative Curry Todd (R-95), Tennessee leaders Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-02) and Speaker Kent Williams (R-04), as well as many other members of the Tennessee Legislature, should be applauded for their steadfast efforts to pass this important bill that will give good, law-abiding Tennesseans the chance to defend themselves and their loved ones while dining out,” concluded Cox. “A special thank you to Nikki Goeser who actively worked on the passage of this legislation in memory of her late husband.”

13 June 2009

Featured Douche 06.13.09

The Winner: The Homeowners Association (HOA) for The Woodlands II on The Creek

The Story:

DALLAS - Frank Larison is a disabled veteran with more than 14 years of service, including more than a year of combat duty in Vietnam.

The 58-year-old former Marine now finds himself under attack by his Dallas homeowners association for displaying seven decals on his vehicle supporting the Marine Corps.

"To me, it's being patriotic, and it shows that I served," the veteran told FOX 4.

The board says the decals are advertisements that violate HOA rules, and must be covered or removed.

Otherwise, the homeowners association for The Woodlands II on The Creek --- where Larimore has lived for eight years --- says in a letter it will tow the car at Larimore's expense. The board also threatens to fine him $50 for any future incident.

Larimore says the decals, ranging from the Marine emblem to Semper Fi slogans, aren't advertisements for anything. "You can't buy freedom," he reasoned.

Some neighbors are outraged.

"That is his identity," said neighbor Mary Castagna. "He goes to a lot of the veteran meetings, and it means a lot to him. Everyone else agrees with it; it doesn't bother anybody."

"He's in the Marines, and he's proud of it, and I don't blame him," said neighbor Paul Hardy. "If I'd gone through what he's gone through, I'd be kind of proud of it myself."

The letter from the board states you can't have any form of advertisement anywhere on your car on your property. FOX 4 cameras spotted bumper stickers for political parties, health causes, and other non-commercial interests on the property as well.

One board member said he was unaware the HOA presidents sent the letter and did not know of any issue with Larimore's vehicle.

"I will be looking into it," said board member Art Bradford. "I didn't know anything about this. I haven't seen this."

The board president was out of town and unavailable. The condo management company did not want to comment.

Robocop's Comment:

More proof that HOA's are out of control and un-American.

11 June 2009

NRA Appeals Seventh Circuit Ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court


Fairfax, Va. – Today, the National Rifle Association filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of NRA v. Chicago. The NRA strongly disagrees with yesterday's decision issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to state and local governments.

“The Seventh Circuit got it wrong. As the Supreme Court said in last year's landmark Heller decision, the Second Amendment is an individual right that ‘belongs to all Americans'. Therefore, we are taking our case to the highest court in the land,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “The Seventh Circuit claimed it was bound by precedent from previous decisions. However, it should have followed the lead of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. Alameda County, which found that those cases don't prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

This Seventh Circuit opinion upholds current bans on the possession of handguns in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois.

“It is wrong that the residents of Chicago and Oak Park continue to have their Second Amendment rights denied,” Cox concluded. “It’s time for the fundamental right of self-defense to be respected by every jurisdiction throughout our country.”

Robocop's Comment:

Can those judicial activists say Heller vs. District Of Columbia? What a bunch of dumbasses.

22 May 2009

Gun Control's "Brass RIng"

From http://www.shotgunnews.com/suprynowicz/

John Browning's Model 1911 pistol, an engineering wonder for its day, still serves as a design platform for much modern pistolsmithing. Old examples, especially with military markings, are now more valuable on the collector market, where they can bring hundreds or even thousands of dollars each.

Yet 16 years ago, early in the Clinton administration, the politicians declared our government would no longer sell into the civilian aftermarket pistols being retired from military armories.

Actual sales had been suspended long before. The change was the announcement that this was no longer just a "hold"--these beautiful pieces of skilled American machining would now be crushed and melted.

Sold into that collector market, these old warriors could have represented millions of dollars in recoverable taxpayer investment. Yet despite ongoing federal deficits, the Clintons and their cronies ruled the 1911s should instead be scrapped, turning irreplaceable pieces of historic engineering into a couple of bucks worth of crushed or melted steel, useful only for manhole covers.

Now it's 2009. A new Democratic administration is finally back in power. And guess what? This time they tried for the brass ring.

On March 16--less than 60 days into the Obama Era--Jim Shepherd at www.shootingwire.com/archives/2009-03-16 reported "The Department of Defense has issued a directive that bans the sale of military brass to ammunition re-manufacturers." Without that brass, a very large dent is put into civilian ammunition supplies.

"New Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS) requirements call for the ëmutilation of shell casings." Mutilation, incidentally, is the destruction of the property 'to the extent that prevents its reuse or reconstruction,'" Mr. Shepherd noted.

"The first word of this latest decision came over the weekend when Georgia Arms" Larry Haynie released a letter notifying him of the new requirement. ... Georgia Arms was remanufacturing more than one million rounds of .223 ammunition monthly; selling that ammo on the civilian market to resellers and to government agencies all over the country.

"Tomorrow, Georgia Arms will start sending cancellation notices for .223 ammunition to law enforcement agencies across the United States," Mr. Shepherd reported on March 16. "Haynie says he may have to lay off half of his sixty-person workforce. The message is simple. The implication is chilling. ..."

Much squawking ensued. And for now, at least, it appears those who believe "Only federal agents should have ammo" have backed down.

"Responding to two Democratic senators representing outraged private gun owners, the Department of Defense announced last night it has scrapped a new policy that would deplete the supply of ammunition by requiring destruction of fired military cartridge brass," World Net Daily reported on March 31.

"The policy already had taken a bite out of the nation's stressed ammunition supply, leaving arms dealers scrambling to find ammo for private gun owners."

"Mark Cunningham, a legislative affairs representative with the Defense Logistics Agency, explained in an e-mail last night to the office of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., that the Department of Defense had placed small arms cartridge cases on its list of sensitive munitions items as part of an overall effort to ensure national security is not jeopardized in the sale of any Defense property.

"The small arms cases were identified as a sensitive item and were held pending review of policy, he said.

"'Upon review, the Defense Logistics Agency has determined the cartridge cases could be appropriately placed in a category of government property allowing for their release for sale,' Cunningham wrote."

The turnaround followed a protest from Sen. Tester and fellow Montana Democrat Sen. Max Baucus. The senators argued "prohibiting the sale of fired military brass would reduce the supply of ammunition--preventing individual gun owners from fully exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We urge you to address this situation promptly."

"'They just reclassified brass to allow destruction of it, based on what?" Georgia Arms owner Larry Haynie asked WND. "We've been 'going green' for the last dozen years, and brass is one of the most recyclable materials out there. A cartridge case can be used over and over again. And now weíre going to destroy it based on what? We donít want the civilian public to have it?"

"It's an end-run around Congress," wrote firearm instructor and author Gordon Hutchinson on his The Shootist blog. "They don't need to try to ban guns--they don't need to fight a massive battle to attempt gun registration, or limit 'assault' weapon sales. Nope. All they have to do is limit the amount of ammunition available to the civilian market, and when bullets dry up, guns will be useless."

What did the two actions have in common--scrapping the wonderful 1911 Colt .45s, and the (apparently reversed, for now) decision to crush, shred, and/or melt all that once-used military brass, mostly in .223 and .308, to keep civilians from buying and reloading it?

First, since crushed or shredded brass is worth only 20% the value of reloadable spent cases, both moves violate the federal government's fiduciary duty as a steward of the nation's resources, the duty to get as good a return as possible on surplus stuff already paid for with hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

But in addition to that, in each of these two examples those in power in Washington--of both parties, though non-Montana Democrats often display the worst cases of the disease--proved willing and eager to abandon that fiduciary responsibility because of what they see as a more important goal.

It's tempting to identify that goal as "getting rid of all the guns." But that would not be accurate. Just ask one of our big-government friends whether they believe DEA agents, BATF agents, even your local cop on the beat should be disarmed.

"What?!" they'll shriek. "The bad guys have them outgunned already!"

Only because of unconstitutional, unenforceable prohibitions, of course. Those who distribute Budweiser and Miller Light don't have to wield assault rifles, because their trade was re-legalized in 1933. Re-legalizing the trades in all firearms and in all plant extracts would have the same violence-reducing impact, though that's a topic for another day.

What the Washington weasels actually favor--and are willing to throw away millions in potential new government revenue to achieve--is a government monopoly on armed might. They hate the idea of "common citizens" having access to effective firearms--even spent military brass and 60-year-old collector pistols that are far too valuable ever to be re-sold to street gangs or stickup artists.

Meantime, as evidence that this campaign proceeds on several parallel tracks, Mr. Shepherd reports the administration recently proposed a ban on rifle-caliber ammo exports to Canada, and that "Last Friday, anglers and hunters were notified that the National Park Service planned to make all lands under their control totally lead-free by 2010. No lead in ammo or fishing tackle."

Predictably, given this full-court press, my sources report ammo demand at U.S. gun shows has not flagged. Rings of customers surround the ammo dealers from the opening bell, buying up and hauling off truckloads of .223, especially.

The consensus, it would appear, is "They may have gotten caught red-handed this time, but the sneaky Petes will surely try again."

I heartily approve--except that I still believe .30 cal. does a better job.

The color photo, published on page A-10 of the March 18 Wall Street Journal, focuses over the shoulders of two camouflage-attired African troopers in red berets, watching as two corn-shuck stacks of perhaps 200 rifles each go up in roaring orange flame. "Kenyan police watch a pyre of confiscated weapons in Nairobi on Tuesday," reads the Journal editors" caption. "Thousands of weapons that were used in criminal activities across the country have been rounded up and burned by the police since 2007." Not "alleged by the corrupt and tyrannical government of election-rigging President-for-Life Mwai Kibaki to have been used in criminal activities," mind you.

The weapons being burned in the photo are rifles, not handguns. Do most "criminals" of your acquaintance use long arms? Who says those weapons weren't "seized from freedom fighters"? If someone were to submit to the Wall Street Journal an old photo of Nazi storm troopers, back in 1936, identified by the source as showing "German police burning confiscated weapons that were used by Jews and Gypsies in criminal activities across the country," do you suppose that photo and caption would be published verbatim, without any editorial attention?

How about if the caption-writer celebrated a "bonfire of dangerous and subversive books and newspapers"? Also no problem? Or is someone's hoplophobia showing?

08 May 2009

BATFE Reform Bill Introduced In U.S. Senate

From nraila.org

Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced S. 941 -- the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Reform and Firearms Modernization Act" -- on April 30. Senator Leahy is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to which S. 941 has been referred.

S. 941 represents the first time such BATFE Reform legislation has been introduced in the Senate. However, the House passed similar legislation (H.R. 5092) in the 109th Congress by a 277-131 vote. A majority of the House -- 224 congressmen -- cosponsored a similar bill (H.R. 4900), in the 110th Congress.

This bipartisan reform legislation is the culmination of efforts to address BATFE abuses and problems that were highlighted in several congressional oversight hearings in 2006. (To read more about these hearings, please click here.) S. 941 represents NRA-ILA's latest efforts to pass legislation that will make it easier for lawful gun owners and dealers to comply with federal law and regulations, while ensuring that those who break the law are punished accordingly. This bipartisan bill also serves as a vital step toward modernizing and improving BATFE's overall operations. The bill would roll back unnecessary restrictions, correct errors, and codify longstanding congressional policies in the firearms arena, and is a vital step needed to modernize and improve BATFE operations.

04 April 2009

A Gun Ban Gets Shot Down

News Week

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now the second member of President Obama's cabinet to get shot down by the White House over the politically sensitive issue of assault weapons. After meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Clinton said that reinstating the U.S. ban on assault weapons—which was passed in 1994 and expired in 2004—is one step this country could take to curb the flow of guns to Mexico's drug cartels. "These military-style weapons don't belong on anybody's street," Clinton told NBC. Within hours, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters that he was unaware of "any plans" to push for such a ban—even though Obama had backed one during last year's campaign.

Attorney General Eric Holder had a similar experience a few weeks earlier. After he endorsed a ban at a Feb. 25 press conference, Justice officials were instructed by White House aides to drop the issue, according to administration and congressional aides who asked not to be named due to political sensitivities. What's behind the shift? A budding relationship between the gun lobby and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill. After Holder mentioned the ban, the National Rifle Association sent out action alerts to its members and bombarded Hill offices with calls. Sixty-five House Dems dashed off a letter to Holder opposing such a ban, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi—echoing the NRA's mantra on all gun-control issues—said she backed "enforcing the laws we have now."

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told NEWSWEEK that Hill Democrats have "learned their lesson" from 1994, when they enacted the ban and subsequently lost control of Congress. They've also learned that cozying up to the NRA can pay big dividends. Last year Democrats received 20 percent of the nearly $1.2 million that the NRA pumped into congressional campaign coffers—more than twice what it gave to Dems just six years earlier. The way things are going, this could be more than a shotgun wedding

Robocop's Comment:

I am not breaking out the booze yet. They are up to something,and have at least 11months to do it.

31 March 2009

Featured Douche 03.31.09

The Winner: Officer Robert Powell of the Dallas Police Department

The Story:

March 27,2009

A police officer was placed on administrative leave Thursday over a traffic stop involving an NFL player whom he kept in a hospital parking lot and threatened to arrest while his mother-in-law died inside the building.

Officer Robert Powell also drew his gun during the March 18 incident involving Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats in the Dallas suburb of Plano, police said.

"I can screw you over," he said at one point in the videotaped incident. When another officer came with word that Moats' mother-in-law was indeed dying, Powell's response was: "All right. I'm almost done."

Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle apologized to the family and announced that Powell would be on paid leave pending an internal investigation.

"When we at the command staff reviewed the tape, we were embarrassed, disappointed," Kunkle said. "It's hard to find the right word and still be professional in my role as the police chief. But the behavior was not appropriate."

Powell, 25, a three-year member of the force, stopped Moats' SUV outside Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano after Moats rolled through a red light.

Police officials said Powell told his commanders he believed he was doing his job, and that he drew his gun but did not point it. Kunkle said Powell was not necessarily acting improperly when he pulled his weapon out, but that once he realized what was happening should have put the gun back, apologized and offered to help the family in any way.

"His behavior, in my opinion, did not exhibit the common sense, the discretion, the compassion that we expect our officers to exhibit," Kunkle said.

Moats' wife, who was in the car along with other relatives, said Powell pointed his weapon at her.

"He was pointing a gun at me as soon as I got out of the car," Tamishia Moats told The Dallas Morning News.

Ryan Moats told KRLD-FM in Dallas in a phone interview Thursday that after the officer pointed the gun at his wife, he pointed it at him. "I just tried to stay as still as possible to not scare him or do anything to make him react," he said.

He earlier told the newspaper he thought Powell should be fired but backed off that in his radio interview.

"All I know is what he did was wrong," Moats said. "He stole a moment away from me that I can never get back. I'm really not the judge on what should happen to him."

The Moats family did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press. Powell did not respond to requests for comment through the Dallas police union.

Video from a dashboard camera inside the officer's vehicle, obtained by Dallas-Fort Worth station WFAA-TV, revealed an intense exchange in which the officer threatened to jail Moats.

He ordered Tamishia Moats, 27, to get back in the SUV, but after pausing for a few seconds, she and another woman rushed into the hospital. She was by the side of her mother, 45-year-old Jonetta Collinsworth, when she died a short time later from breast cancer.

"Get in there," said Powell, yelling at Tamishia Moats as she exited the vehicle. "Let me see your hands!"

"Excuse me, my mom is dying," Tamishia Moats said. "Do you understand?"

Ryan Moats explained that he waited until there was no traffic before proceeding through the red light. When Powell asked for proof of insurance, Moats grew more agitated and told the officer to go find it.

"My mother-in-law is dying! Right now! You're wasting my time!" Moats yelled. "I don't understand why you can't understand that."

As they argued, the officer got irritated.

"Shut your mouth," the officer said. "You can either settle down and cooperate or I can just take you to jail for running a red light."

By the time the 26-year-old NFL player received a ticket and a lecture from Powell, about 13 minutes had passed. When he and Collinsworth's father entered the hospital, they learned Collinsworth was dead.

Earl Jackson, Collinsworth's father, said he knew what Powell was doing was wrong. "This guy, he wouldn't listen to nobody," Jackson said in an interview with Dallas-Fort Worth station KDFW-TV.

Moats said he wouldn't have had a problem with the officer giving him a ticket after letting him go into the hospital.

"I don't know what he was thinking," he told KRLD-FM. "Basically, I was just shocked. I was very shocked that he wasn't budging on it. I even said I can't believe that this was happening."

Kunkle said the video showed that Moats and his wife "exercised extraordinary patience, restraint in dealing with the behavior of our officer."

"At no time did Mr. Moats identify himself as an NFL football player or expect any kind of special consideration," Kunkle said. "He handled himself very, very well."

The Moats family, who are black, said they can't help but think that race might have played a part in the white officer's behavior.

"I think he should lose his job," Ryan Moats said.

When the exchange was at its most contentious, Powell said he could tow Moats' SUV if he didn't have insurance and that he could arrest him for fleeing because he didn't immediately stop when Powell turned on his sirens. The pursuit lasted a little more than a minute.

"I can screw you over," Powell said. "I'd rather not do that. Your attitude will dictate everything that happens."

The ticket issued to Moats was dismissed, Dallas police spokesman Lt. Andy Harvey said.

Texans spokesman Kevin Cooper said the team had no comment.

Moats, a third-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 out of Louisiana Tech, was cut by the Eagles in August and later signed with the Texans. In three seasons as a backup, he's rushed for 441 yards and scored four touchdowns.

He was a standout at Bishop Lynch High School, a private school in Dallas, rushing for more than 2,600 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior.

Robocop's Comment:

I do not really care that the victim was an NFL player. To be honest,if this happened to one of us normal people, this story would have never come out. The main thing that fires me up about this police officer is that he shows NO REMORSE over the situation. As an ex-police officer, I can tell you a number of things a fourth week academy rat would have done to make this situation go another way. What I see here is what they refer to on the street as a "power trip". This cop should lose his job,and should not even get a job as a mall security guard. Hell, I would not even trust him to secure a pile of horse manure. He might draw his weapon on a horse. I salute the men and women of law enforcement. Robert Powell gets my "other" salute.

29 March 2009

BSG-Total War

For your entertainment.

26 March 2009

Featured Douche 03.26.09

The Winners: Angelo Monderoy and Matthew Cooper of New York

The Story:

Two teenagers could spend 25 years in prison for allegedly torturing and killing a cat they set on fire when they broke into an apartment in New York City.

Angelo Monderoy, 18, and Matthew Cooper, 17, allegedly broke into a vacant apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y., on or around Oct. 7, 2008. Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said the pair held the cat down as they poured charcoal lighter fluid on it.

Hynes said they then set the animal on fire, causing deep wounds and fourth-degree burns. The blaze also damaged the building, which has other units that are occupied.

The cat was found outside, unable to move and crying but still alive, the district attorney said.

It was euthanized at a local animal hospital.

The ASPCA launched an extensive investigation leading to the capture of Monderoy and Cooper, who were indicted this week in Brooklyn, according to the district attorney.

They face charges of second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and aggravated animal cruelty and could spend up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Cooper also was recently charged with burglary and assault in an unrelated incident in the same building in which he and another defendant are charged with breaking into an apartment and beating the sleeping tenant with a cane while they demanded money.

Robocop's Comment:

Those two young men should be lit on fire.

25 March 2009

Concealed Carry in National Parks Suspended -- NRA Files Motion To Appeal


On Thursday, March 19, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. granted anti-gun plaintiffs a preliminary injunction against implementation of the new rule allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves by carrying a concealed firearm in national parks and wildlife refuges.

In Thursday's ruling, Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the preliminary injunction against the Department of the Interior rule that took effect on January 9, 2009. The revised rule allowed individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense in national parks and national wildlife refuges located in states that allow the carrying of concealed firearms.

Today, NRA filed a notice of appeal in Federal District Court to oppose the preliminary injunction.

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox, said, "NRA is moving aggressively to protect this common sense rule and that's why we filed this notice of appeal today. Just as we did not give up the fight to change the old, outdated rule, we will not give up our fight in the courts to defend the rule change. We will pursue every legal avenue to defend the American people's right of self-defense."
Until further notice, individuals cannot legally carry loaded, concealed firearms for personal protection in national parks and wildlife refuges.

23 March 2009

From Enemy Combatant to American Immigrant

The Weekly Standard

Yesterday, Attorney General Holder said that some of the current Guantanamo detainees may be released in the United States. Press reports indicate that Holder and the Obama administration are considering releasing some or all of the Uighur detainees at Guantanamo onto U.S. soil. That would be a mistake.

There are currently 17 Uighurs held at Guantanamo. Five others were previously sent to Albania. All 22 of the Uighurs are openly opposed to the Chinese government, but claim that they have no animosity for America. Before the Obama administration dropped the “enemy combatant” label altogether, the government decided that the Uighurs did not satisfy the definition of an “enemy combatant.”

It is not entirely clear why. The Uighur detainees were initially classified as enemy combatants during hearings at Guantanamo and then, only later, the classification was dropped. It may be that the politics of Guantanamo (including pressure from various anti-Gitmo groups, and pro-Chinese opposition sentiment) played a role in that decision. It is also likely that the government thought it was not worth fighting in the courts after judges decided the Uighurs did not meet the enemy combatant standard. (In my view, the opinions that have been issued thus far ignore a wealth of publicly-available information.)

Let’s be clear on the Uighur detainees: None of them are first-order threats. None of them should be counted among the “worst of the worst” detained by American forces, either at Guantanamo or abroad. We are not talking about terrorists of the same caliber as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It is also clear that some detainees who posed a more serious threat to national security have already been released or transferred. The only reason the Uighurs are still at Guantanamo is because the Bush administration could not safely transfer them back to China. There were and are human rights concerns. The Uighur detainees probably would have received rough treatment, or possibly even been executed.

Given all that, however, it is mistake to say the Uighur detainees pose no threat whatsoever. In brief, here are four reasons why. (You can also read my previous reporting on this topic here and here.)

First, the Uighur detainees are alleged, for good reasons, to be members or associates of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). The ETIM is a designated terrorist organization affiliated with al Qaeda.

There is sound evidence that the Uighur detainees are affiliated with the ETIM. For example, most of the detainees have made admissions during their tribunals and hearings at Guantanamo that tie them to the group. The ETIM is a jihadist organization and not part of some noble anti-China resistance. So, even if you have sympathy for the Chinese government’s opposition (as I do), including other Uighur organizations, the Uighur detainees at Guantanamo are not part of any legitimate, anti-Chinese government organization that deserves our support. The ETIM is an ideological cousin of al Qaeda that seeks to establish a radical Islamist state throughout South and Central Asia.

Second, many of the Uighur detainees have freely admitted during their tribunals and hearings at Guantanamo that they were trained by two known terrorists: Hasan Mahsum and Abdul Haq.

Mahsum was killed in Waziristan in 2003. Haq is still active. Neither Mahsum nor Haq can be considered legitimate freedom fighters. Open source accounts, as well as the testimony of knowledgeable experts, indicate that both Haq and Mahsum had ties to senior al Qaeda terrorists, including Osama bin Laden and Abu Zubaydah. Mahsum operated in the Mullah Omar’s Kabul for years and received the Taliban’s support repeatedly.

Third, the Uighur detainees’ training took place at a camp in Tora Bora, Afghanistan -– a known stronghold for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

There is no dispute over the fact that the Uighur detainees were at Tora Bora both before and after 9/11. You will recall that Tora Bora became the fallback zone for retreating jihadist forces after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Most, if not all, of the Uighur detainees fled Tora Bora for Pakistan, where they were picked up. Some have tried to argue that there is no proof that the Taliban and/or al Qaeda sponsored the Tora Bora camp. But this is sheer nonsense. It is difficult to believe that the ETIM could have operated inside the heart of Taliban country without at least the acquiescence of senior Taliban and al Qaeda members. And there is evidence that the Tora Bora camp was sponsored by them.

Fourth, the Uighur detainees’ training makes them a potential threat not just to the Chinese government/military forces.

The ETIM has openly targeted and threatened civilians, as it did last year during the Chinese Olympics. In a publicly-released video, an ETIM member stood in front of al Qaeda’s black flag as he threatened anyone who attended the Olympics. The ETIM has also executed terrorist bombings against civilian targets inside China. ETIM trainees have fought alongside Taliban forces in Afghanistan on a number of occasions. They have also been used to buttress other al Qaeda-allied jihadist forces throughout Central Asia, including in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

There have been some attempts to dismiss the training the Uighur detainees received as harmless. But, as pointed out above, it was conducted by known terrorists. Moreover, it is likely that the training included not only rudimentary military training, but also ideological indoctrination as well. By and large, the Uighur detainees appear to have been fresh recruits who arrived in Afghanistan during the spring and summer of 2001. Many of them were at the camp for at least a few months as of 9/11. There is no telling where they would have ended up.

It is understandable that the Obama administration would want to resolve the Uighur detainees’ cases. It is also understandable that people do not want to just lock them up and throw away the key.

But releasing them onto U.S. soil is not the answer

21 March 2009

Obama secretly ends program that let pilots carry guns

Washington Times

After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.

Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”

Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate.

Since Mr. Obama's election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to carry guns - indicate that the approval process has stalled out.

Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.

Arming pilots after Sept. 11 was nothing new. Until the early 1960s, American commercial passenger pilots on any flight carrying U.S. mail were required to carry handguns. Indeed, U.S. pilots were still allowed to carry guns until as recently as 1987. There are no records that any of these pilots (either military or commercial) ever causing any significant problems.

Screening of airplane passengers is hardly perfect. While armed marshals are helpful, the program covers less than 3 percent of the flights out of Washington D.C.'s three airports and even fewer across the country. Sky marshals are costly and quit more often than other law-enforcement officers.

Armed pilots are a cost-effective backup layer of security. Terrorists can only enter the cockpit through one narrow entrance, and armed pilots have some time to prepare themselves as hijackers penetrate the strengthened cockpit doors. With pilots, we have people who are willing to take on the burden of protecting the planes for free. About 70 percent of the pilots at major American carriers have military backgrounds.

Frankly, as a matter of pure politics, we cannot understand what the administration is thinking. Nearly 40 House Democrats are in districts were the NRA is more popular than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can't find any independent poll in which the public is demanding that pilots disarm. Why does this move make sense?

Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots. So why is the Obama administration catering to this tiny lobby at the expense of public safety?

19 March 2009

Global gun control

Washington Times

There may good reasons for deploying the National Guard along the U.S.-Mexican border, but illegal firearms isn't one of them.

The administration recently launched a study to examine whether soldiers should patrol the Southern border to staunch the flow of firearms headed for drug dealers in Latin America. The silence you hear is the concern about armed drug gangs headed here. In short, the administration seems more concerned about the guns going south than the non-citizens streaming north.

"We're going to examine whether and if National Guard deployment would make sense," the president said. We look forward to seeing the study.

Stopping vicious Mexican drug gangs is surely a noble goal, as those gangs killed an estimated 6,000 people in Mexico last year. We also have a serious gang problem. The U.S. Department of Justice now estimates that 80 percent of U.S. crime is linked to gangs and drugs.

Yet, at least part of the president's plan is doomed to fail: Stopping Mexican gangs from getting guns will prove as difficult as stopping them from getting the drugs that they sell.

We are losing the drug war. Despite Mexico's strenuous efforts, our neighbor hasn't been able to stop the transnational flow of drugs through Mexico from other Latin American countries. Our own government hasn't done much better stopping contraband.

We won't do any better with guns. The drugs are extremely valuable and drug lords have many enemies, ranging from governments to rival gangs. So gangs have powerful incentives to own guns-to defend their lives and property-and access to vast smuggling networks.

Even digging a moat between the U.S. and Mexico wouldn't stop the flow of guns. Consider the experience of island nations -Ireland, Jamaica, and the United Kingdom- all of which saw murder rates climb after guns were banned. In the land of the disarmed, the one-gun man is king.

Certainly the Mexicans deserve our help when they investigate and prosecute gun murders in their country, just as we deserve their aid when we prosecute drug kingpins here. If we are going to talk about deploying armies on the border, shouldn't the administration ask the Mexicans to deploy their army to stem the tide of migrants headed here?

16 March 2009

Fortifying The Right To Self-Defense


"Law is order, and good law is good order," Aristotle said. Without doubt, Florida's recently enacted "Castle Doctrine" law is good law, casting a common-sense light onto the debate over the right of self-defense. It reverses the pendulum that for too long has swung in the direction of protecting the rights of criminals over the rights of their victims. Despite predictable howling from the anti-gun media elite that Florida was taking an unprecedented and dangerous action, in truth it joined 24 other states that reject "duty-to-retreat" laws.

Passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature--unanimously in the Senate and 94-20 in the House--;the new law removes the "duty to retreat" when citizens are outside of their homes and where they have legal right to be. It says that if a criminal breaks into your home or occupied vehicle or a place where you are camping overnight, for example, you may presume that he is there to do bodily harm and use any force, including deadly force, to protect yourself from a violent attack. Floridians who defend themselves from criminal attack are shielded by the new law from criminal prosecution and from civil suits brought by their attackers.

In testifying for the bill, Marion P. Hammer, executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, said: "No one knows what is in the twisted mind of a violent criminal. You can't expect a victim to wait before taking action to protect herself and say: 'Excuse me, Mr. Criminal, did you drag me into this alley to rape and kill me or do you just want to beat me up and steal my purse?'"

Florida's "Castle Doctrine" law does the following:

One: It establishes, in law, the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that person.

Two: It removes the "duty to retreat" if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be. You no longer have to turn your back on a criminal and try to run when attacked. Instead, you may stand your ground and fight back, meeting force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others.

Three: It provides that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force. It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them. In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors to focus on protecting victims.

12 March 2009

Obama as Hitler

by Kevin McCullough

This week in a bold move the President broke a barrier that his supporters should be quite concerned about. For in doing so he has broken a barrier that should always be seen as sacred. However, this will likely be marginalized by the leftist media that offers it’s blind support regardless of any mastery of facts.

Case and point... Rachel Maddow.

She is MSNBC's less funny and perhaps more butch version of Keith Olbermann. And on this past Friday night she did an entire "bit" on anyone who would compare Obama's policies to socialism as "not very serious people." Of course people seeing the “bit” were a good deal uncertain of Maddow as she herself kept interchanging the terms socialist and communist. But liberals often are confused by facts and frequently either do not understand what they are discussing, or discuss it purposefully with deception. Whatever the case Maddow thought herself witty.

We're supposed to believe her because... ...well... ...she said it. It does not matter to Maddow if President Obama’s policies are in substance moving us towards centralized control where the Government becomes the caretaker/nanny and the individual is lulled into mind-numbing moronic infancy suckling off the government's “all-sufficient” teet.

But if she got that worked up over a few people calling Obama’s socialist policies by name, imagine what she will say about the title of this column?

And yet simply because Maddow, and others who defend their loyalty to Obama in irrational ways, still contend that he produces nothing but rainbows, ponies, and butterflies, doesn't mean we shouldn't compare what Obama is doing with others in history who have already tried those policies.

Which brings us to this point: This week President Obama exercised for the first time a policy decision that shares a trait held in common with Adolf Hitler.

The headline was leaked late in the Friday afternoon news cycle so that as few people as possible would pay attention, but here's the crux of a very real problem: President Obama is moving policy on public health into the direction of doctors being forced to act against their conscience. (For liberals educated in public schools, a conscience is that little voice inside you that used to inform you as to what was right or wrong.)

President Obama wants them performing abortions, whether they believe it to be an immoral thing or not. And while the comparisons to Hitler are made either on eugenist or racist grounds--but you cannot escape the impact.

In the 1930's and 40's as Hitler wished to use his captive “lesser-humans” for "experiments" in his final solution. He too forced doctors to do things they did not wish to do. Everything from injecting living humans with horrible chemicals to see the effect, to trying differing grades of poisonous gases in what eventually became death chambers. These doctors, who were purveyors of those things that helped save lives, were suddenly forced to use the medical knowledge they had of death--to end them.

In today’s scenario Obama wants doctors to exterminate “lesser humans” for the purpose of immediate solutions to his social experiment. And he wishes them to do so regardless of whether or not they are compelled by the higher call of morality on an individual basis.

Put another way Obama's policy shift would be the equivalent of forcing those who believed slavery to be immoral and never even owned slaves, to begin purchasing them, beating them, raping them, and exploiting them.

This policy shift that Obama has attempted to slide under the radar screen is grossly immoral, and doctors should disobey it and run a medical mutiny against the administration if it becomes law.

The President did this, as he has done most things since coming to power as a pure, pragmatic, political move to pay off the campaign favors of those special interest groups he railed against during his campaign. In this case the abortion industry which is increasingly under attack from the next generation who understand the taking of innocent life to be horrific.

As to all the comparisons that the left made in 8 years of the previous administration, they never once had such a clear comparison that so vividly laid out the exact parallel between the dictator who thought it moral to gas people in chambers, and now a President who believes that live babies should be left to starve in soiled utility closets of hospitals, even if it violates the voice of God telling the doctor to do otherwise.

This stroke of the policy pen, moves the administration into its first conflict with the first amendment right of religious belief and expression, and he should be penalized for it quickly.

Friday, Ms. Maddow, President Obama took a demonstrable step in the shoes, actions, and example of Adolf Hitler.

What have you to say about that?

11 March 2009

Wish List 2009 v 2.0

I know,I already made one, but things change. Call it freedom of choice. Like I said earlier this year, the black rifles are out of my reach, so it is pistols only.

1) Glock 35 (.40 S&W)

2) Glock 21 (.45 ACP)

3) Springfield XD 45 Tactical (.45 ACP)

4) Beretta 90-Two (.40 S&W)

5) Smith and Wesson MP45 (.45 ACP)

6) Glock 27 (.40 S&W)

Subject to change at my leisure.

BSG Recap

How Can This Happen? They Have Strict Gun Control.

Fox News

WINNENDEN, Germany —
A gunman opened fire randomly at a high school in southern Germany on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring others before fleeing the scene, police said.

Germany's n-tv reported that police said the suspect was dressed in a black combat uniform.

Regional police spokesman Klaus Hinderer said students were among the 10 killed, but he had no further details.

The shooter entered Albertville high school in Winnenden at 9:30 a.m. and opened fire, shooting at random, before fleeing, police said.

Police warned area residents not to pick up anyone in their cars as they searched for the suspect, described by Germany's N24 television as a 17-year-old former student who was known to police.

Hinderer could not confirm media reports that the shooter was a former student at the school.

Hinderer said the suspect fled toward the center of Winnenden, a town of 28,000, Hinderer said. The school was evacuated.

About 1,000 children attend the school, located in a suburb some 12 miles northeast of Stuttgart

Robocop's Comment:

I guess he failed to mention a future rampage on his strict permit application. Did he even have a permit? Did he use atype of weapon that is banned?

09 March 2009

Great Feminazis Of The Past 3.0

Dorothea Binz

Dorothea Binz (March 16, 1920 - May 2, 1947) was an SS supervisor at the Ravensbrück concentration camp during the Second World War. Dorothea was one of the more depraved and cruel creatures to serve in the camps.

Born to a middle class German family in Dusterlake, Germany (near Fürstenberg and Ravensbrück itself), Binz went to school until the age of fifteen. Afterwards she spent some time as a maid but soon dreaded her job and applied with a local SS office and was sent to Ravensbrück on September 1, 1939 to undergo guard training.

Binz served as an Aufseherin under Oberaufseherin Johanna Langefeld, Maria Mandel, a woman named Small, and Erna Rose. She worked in various parts of the camp; in the kitchen, laundry, etc. Her one single duty after 1942 was overseeing the camp's bunker where women prisoners were tortured and killed.

In January 1943, Dorothea Binz was promoted to Stellvertretende Oberaufseherin (Deputy Chief Wardress) because of her unyielding abuse. As a member of the command staff, she oversaw the training and assigned duties to over 1,000 female guards between 1943 and 1945. "Thea" trained some of the most cruel female guards including Ruth Closius. Most of the SS Aufseherin went on to dedicate themselves to over 200 other women camps across Poland, Germany, Austria and far eastern France. Eventually the well seasoned female matron reigned over a concentration camp kingdom of over 100,000 women and child prisoners. Her only superiors were Lagerleiterin Erna Rose, Oberaufseherin Johanna Langefeld and the commandant, Max Kögel . In 1944, Ravensbrück received horrendous amounts of women and children from Auschwitz Birkenau, Majdanek, Plaszow, Stutthof and various slave labor camps in Poland. Binz commanded the women throughout the mass shootings and mass killings in the gas chambers as well as through starvation, neglect, severe abuse and cold.

Binz's behavior in the Ravensbrück camp was atrocious. The young woman beat, slapped, kicked, shot, whipped, stomped and abused the women continuously. Whenever she appeared at roll call, "silence fell." She always carried a whip in her hand as well as a big German Shepherd on a leash. At a moment's notice she would kick a woman to death, or select her to be killed. French prisoners nicknamed her "La Binz" (The Binz).

The young SS woman also had a boyfriend in the camp, an SS officer named Edmund Bräuning . The two would go on romantic walks around the camp and watch a woman get flogged. Then they would stroll away laughing. The two lived in a house right outside the camp walls together until Edmund was transferred to Buchenwald in late-1944. There is even one report that Binz used an axe to chop a Polish prisoner to death on a wood chopping kommando.

Dorothea fled Ravensbrück during the death march and was captured on 3 May, 1945 by British officers. She spent some time in the Recklinghausen camp (which used to be a Buchenwald subcamp). Finally she was tried by a British court with other SS men and women at the Ravensbrück Trial. She was hanged at Hameln, Germany on 2 May, 1947 for war crimes.

05 March 2009

Great Feminazis Of The Past 2.0

Elizabeth Volkenrath

Elizabeth (or Elisabeth) Volkenrath was an SS supervisor at several concentration camps during World War II. She trained under SS supervisor Dorothea Binz at Ravensbruck, and in 1943 went to Auschwitz Birkenau as an Aufseherin. There she took part in selections and abuse. In November 1944, she was promoted to SS Oberaufseherin and oversaw three hangings. She later went to Bergen Belsen as supervising wardress and did nothing for the conditions there.

In April 1945 she was arrested by the British Army and sent to prison. She eventually stood trial with Irma Grese and many other Nazi guards at the Belsen Trial. She was handed down a death sentence and was hanged on December 13, 1945, at Hameln by Albert Pierrepoint.

Robocop's Comment:

Again,for proving what a feminnazi with power can do. I hope her stay in Hell is not enjoyable.

04 March 2009

Featured Douche 03.04.09

The Winner: Professor Paula Anderson of CCSU.

The Reason: Calling the police on a student who merely made a pro-gun rights presentation.

The Story:

Professor Called Police After Student Presentation

For CCSU student John Wahlberg, a class presentation on campus violence turned into a confrontation with the campus police due to a complaint by the professor.

On October 3, 2008, Wahlberg and two other classmates prepared to give an oral presentation for a Communication 140 class that was required to discuss a “relevant issue in the media”. Wahlberg and his group chose to discuss school violence due to recent events such as the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred in 2007.

Shortly after his professor, Paula Anderson, filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against her student. During the presentation Wahlberg made the point that if students were permitted to conceal carry guns on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier in many of these cases. He also touched on the controversial idea of free gun zones on college campuses.

That night at work, Wahlberg received a message stating that the campus police “requested his presence”. Upon entering the police station, the officers began to list off firearms that were registered under his name, and questioned him about where he kept them.

They told Wahlberg that they had received a complaint from his professor that his presentation was making students feel “scared and uncomfortable”.

“I was a bit nervous when I walked into the police station,” Wahlberg said, “but I felt a general sense of disbelief once the officer actually began to list the firearms registered in my name. I was never worried however, because as a law-abiding gun owner, I have a thorough understanding of state gun laws as well as unwavering safety practices.”

Professor Anderson refused to comment directly on the situation and deferred further comment.

“It is also my responsibility as a teacher to protect the well being of our students, and the campus community at all times,” she wrote in a statement submitted to The Recorder. “As such, when deemed necessary because of any perceived risks, I seek guidance and consultation from the Chair of my Department, the Dean and any relevant University officials.”

Wahlberg believes that her complaint was filed without good reason.

“I don’t think that Professor Anderson was justified in calling the CCSU police over a clearly nonthreatening matter. Although the topic of discussion may have made a few individuals uncomfortable, there was no need to label me as a threat,” Wahlberg said in response. “The actions of Professor Anderson made me so uncomfortable, that I didn’t attend several classes. The only appropriate action taken by the Professor was to excuse my absences.”

The university police were unavailable for comment.

“If you can’t talk about the Second Amendment, what happened to the First Amendment?” asked Sara Adler, president of the Riflery and Marksmanship club on campus. “After all, a university campus is a place for the free and open exchange of ideas.”

28 February 2009

Obama to Seek New Assault Weapons Ban

ABC News

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2009—

The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

"I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum." Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

Mexican government officials have complained that the availability of sophisticated guns from the United States have emboldened drug traffickers to fight over access routes into the U.S.

A State Department travel warning issued Feb. 20, 2009, reflected government concerns about the violence.

"Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades," the warning said. "Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico, but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez."

At the news conference today, Holder described his discussions with his Mexican counterpart about the recent spike in violence.

"I met yesterday with Attorney General Medina Mora of Mexico, and we discussed the unprecedented levels of violence his country is facing because of their enforcement efforts," he said.

Holder declined to offer any time frame for the reimplementation of the assault weapons ban, however.

"It's something, as I said, that the president talked about during the campaign," he said. "There are obviously a number of things that are -- that have been taking up a substantial amount of his time, and so, I'm not sure exactly what the sequencing will be."

In a brief interview with ABC News, Wayne LaPierre, president of the National Rifle Association, said, "I think there are a lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill cringing at Eric Holder's comments right now."

During his confirmation hearing, Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee about other gun control measures the Obama administration may consider.

"I think closing the gun show loophole, the banning of cop-killer bullets and I also think that making the assault weapons ban permanent, would be something that would be permitted under Heller," Holder said, referring to the Supreme Court ruling in Washington, D.C. v. Heller, which asserted the Second Amendment as an individual's right to own a weapon.

The Assault Weapons Ban signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 banned 19 types of semi-automatic military-style guns and ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds.

"A semi-automatic is a quintessential self-defense firearm owned by American citizens in this country," LaPierre said. "I think it is clearly covered under Heller and it's clearly, I think, protected by the Constitution."